Sizzle, Black Hawk College's wayward mare, is home and safe after being missing for months. |
The horse, used in the Kewanee campus' equine program, was stolen from her campus stall March 10, sparking a search that involved horse lovers across the country.
But Sizzle was found much closer to home. Former Black Hawk equine student Desirae Haar, 20, said she spotted the mare in a Fourth of July parade in Streator, Ill.
Ms. Haar said her sister was riding in the parade, and she was looking for her when she spotted the red roan's face among the other horses.
"I thought, 'It couldn't be her,'" she said, but then she also saw a distinctive "z" brand on her flank.
"I don't know any other horse to have those markings and that brand," Ms. Haar said.
Once she was sure it was Sizzle, Ms. Haar said she called Donna Irvin, a professor in the equine program, who told her to get the police.
When they approached the people who had Sizzle, Ms. Haar and the police found they did not know the horse was stolen and began cooperating, she said.
"They just wanted to do the right thing, Ms. Haar said.
It appears the people who had Sizzle had bought her from someone, who had bought her from someone else, Ms. Haar said.
Sizzle is thinner, but she appears to be in good health, Ms. Haar said.
"She didn't look like she'd been mistreated," she said.
Campus authorities were expecting warrants to be issued in Henry County in coming days against several people believed involved in the theft, according to the college on Monday. One of them is a former or current student.
The horse normally stays with a local family during the summer, and that is where she is being sent, according to the college.
Ms. Irvin was picking her up Monday afternoon.